Thursday, 15 February 2018

Differentiation and Managing Self in junior maths

While giving learners feedback on a contextual Number task, I noticed that they were struggling with fractions when denominators were different. After using an online resource, a few learners were given an opportunity to conference/collaborate in order to build up their confidence with this L4 learning while others who understood the video moved onto another activity.

For the first time in ages, all students were super-confident with L3 (adding fractions when denominators are the same). For those who needed more confidence with adding Fractions with different denominators (L4) we came up with a strategy

Level 4 strategy (adding fractions with different denominators)
1/4 + 2/5
look at your 2 denominators - by this stage, all learners had used the "Word definition" literacy strategy to familarise themselves with these subject-specific terms)
the 2 denominators were  (4 and 5)
count in 4's (4, 8, 12, 16, 20)
count in 5's (5, 10, 15, 20)
which number is lowest and common to both (20)
that becomes your new denominator

Learners had to figure out their new numerators in order to solve.
(multiply the first numerator by 5 and second numerator by 4) to get
5/20 + 8/20

All 4 Key Competencies (KC's) from the NZ curriculum:
Relating to others
Using Language, symbols and text
Managing self
Participating and contributing
were incorporated into the lesson.

We also trialled the multiplication method where you cross multiply but almost all learners chose the method explained above as it automatically gave a simplified fraction as the final answer.

With this new-found confidence, learners revisited the contextual task, used the "Chunking" literacy strategy where they had to break up the context into "bite-sized" or smaller pieces were pleased with their ability to solve the problem.

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